In and around Cambridge
Cambridge is a small city about 50 minutes north of London on the train. Students account for about a fifth of the city's population, with around 28,500 between the two universities. As a result, there’s plenty going on which makes Cambridge a great place to be a student.
Cambridge is a beautiful city, one that combines and embraces the old and the new. You're surrounded by historic architecture as well as ultra-modern buildings. It has the welcoming feel of a small town with the variety and energy of a larger city.
However you like to spend your time, there's always something to keep you entertained – whether that's having coffee with friends, going punting, catching a film, having a night out, or getting involved in clubs and societies.
Entertainment and comedy
Cambridge has four theatres, three cinemas, and two major entertainment venues – The Junction and The Corn Exchange – offering varied programmes which include comedy, drama, dance, concerts and club nights.
Those into comedy won’t be disappointed as, along with student groups and the annual Comedy Festival in July (featuring many Edinburgh previews), Cambridge regularly attracts top stand-up acts – in the last year the city’s hosted comedians including Sarah Millican, Alex Horne, Bill Bailey, Jimmy Carr, Noel Fielding, Dave Gorman, Russell Kane, Stewart Lee, Rob Beckett, Chris Ramsey, Dara O’Briain, Nina Conti, Joe Lycett and Ruby Wax.
The city also offers numerous other events, fairs and festivals throughout the year, including:
- Watersprite International Student Film Festival
- History Festival
- Literary Festival
- Eat Cambridge Festival
- Beer Festival
- Strawberry Fair
- Midsummer Fair
- Shakespeare Festival
- Film Festival
- Dragonboat Festival
- Mill Road Winter Fair
Live music is a big part of life in both the city and University. There’s something on offer for every taste; from buskers in the street and gigs in pubs, to classical concerts and big name acts. Among many others, Everything Everything, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Mallory Knox, Ella Henderson, Hot Chip, The Maccabees, Will Young, Foals, The Vaccines, The 1975, James Bay and Lianne La Havas have all performed in Cambridge during the last year.
The city also hosts a growing number of music festivals. Most well-known is the Folk Festival, but others include Jazz and Brass in the Parks, the Rock Festival, and the Buskers and Street Performers Festival.
Pubs, clubs and restaurants
Cambridge is well known for its great range of pubs – there are more than 100 before you even start to count the dozens of College and University bars! There are also several clubs offering the various music nights you’d expect, as well as cheap entry and offers for students.
There’s a great selection of places to eat too. Something for any mood, palate, occasion and price range. Better still, your Cambridge student card gets you discounts and special deals at numerous restaurants and cafés.
Within Cambridge’s three shopping centres and the city centre streets, most high street names are represented, as well as many independent shops and boutiques. The daily market on Market Square sells everything from jewellery and vintage clothes to bread and fruit; and at the weekend there are also farmers’ and arts and crafts markets.
In addition, in the vibrant and eclectic range of shops, cafés and restaurants on Mill Road you can find just about anything from just about anywhere in the world and to suit any budget, all on one street!
Outside the city
If you want to explore further afield, London is just 50 minutes away by train and there’s plenty to discover in the region, for example:
- numerous walking and cycling routes
- punt up river to Grantchester
- Ely and its cathedral
- various local National Trust and English Heritage properties
- nature reserves, wildlife parks and zoos
- karting, a real snow slope, and indoor skydiving